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Lunch near Longwood

I'm planning to visit the Longwood Gardens area in the next week or two. I'm planning on going to Longwood in the morning and Brandywine River Museum in the afternoon (or vice versa, depending on the weather), and I'd love to stop and have a nice lunch in between the two.

I know both places have their own café's, but I wasn't sure if that was the best place to go, or if there was a better place in the area. I'd like to have an enjoyable, relaxed lunch, but someplace casual enough where I could eat by myself in my sweats and tennis shoes and not feel out of place.

Thanks,
Karen

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  1. I'd say, Talula's Table in Kennett is a great gourmet chop and they'll heat up anything you may want(lobster pot pie, mushroom soup, cheese tray, etc.), Sovana Bistro is nice and casual for lunch, chadds ford tavern for more like pub fare and other nice options. Have fun, they're 2 of my favorite day trip spots, partly b/c I live in West Chester

    1. I second Sovana Bistro in Kennett. It's not between the two (a few miles West of Longwood) but well worth the drive, as the food is the best in the area IMO. Talula's is also very good but dare I say their pre-prepared foods have been slipping these past few months. And there are only a few tables there so it can be hard to find a seat. Either option is much better than what you'd get at Longwood or the museum, however!

      4 Replies
      1. re: bluehensfan

        I have heard good things about Sovana, but when I looked at their web site, they seemed very formal. For example, they say that reservations are "strongly recommended". Are they more casual at lunch? I didn't want to have to make a reservation in advance, in case my plans changed.

        (I'm planning on going to Hanks for breakfast!)

        1. re: kwheless

          Sovana Bistro would also be my first pick. It's what I'd call "upscale casual" at dinner; a bit more casual for lunch. And they don't turn walk-ins away. Depending on when you show up, you may not have to wait at all without a reservation. Talula's -- I'm in the same camp as Bluehensfan. But, having said that, if you've never been there, you probably won't be disappointed. Personally, I'd skip Hank's Place, but I know there are other locals who like it there. Another place just came to mind, I think it's called LaVigne (or something like that). It's right on Rt. 1, a short distance north of the B.R. Museum. It's a full-service Italian restaurant and they recently put out a sign announcing brick oven pizzas. It might be worth a try. It's where Best of Italy used to be.

          1. re: kwheless

            They are more casual at lunch, definitely. If you wanted to get in at 7:30pm on a Sat. night w/o reservations - good luck. But lunch is easy every time I've been.

        2. If you're looking for something very casual, try Hanks...it's almost across from the Brandywine River museum and most of locals eat there (no liquor). They have tables an counter service

          1 Reply
          1. re: FriedClamFanatic

            You may see one of the Wyeths if you go to Hank's. I mean a member of the Wyeth family, not a Wyeth painting.

          2. Here is another thread about Mexican restauranst in So Chester Co., which is what I like to have these days when I drag myself all the way to Longwood and Winterthur.

            http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/550051

            2 Replies
            1. re: Mawrter

              When it's local Mexican food I'm craving, I go to Taqueria Moroleon in the New Garden Shopping Center in Kennett. The food is good, plentiful and authentic, and the prices are very reasonable. They don't get high marks for ambiance, but it is what it is, and locals keep the place filled on weekends.

              1. re: CindyJ

                Thanks, Cindy - I'll have to try that one next time I'm out that way!

            2. we thought the food in the Longwood restaurant was actually very good and somewhat creative Its very popular (when we have been there are lines) so Id plan to arrive for your meal early or late. We ate from a very nice buffet, tho there may be another area with table service, but I forget now. Would be fine for your casual wear (we had kids who made a mess in tow on one visit) On another visit to the area, I have to say we searched around a bit for a suitable place near the museum and found none. Im glad you are getting some alternative reccomendations.

              1. Find route 52....it intersects route 1 between Brandywine River museum and Longwood....travel down 52 to Buckleys tavern...great casual cozy.